Reflections on Nature’s Catastrophes

Reflections on Nature’s Catastrophes

No doubt the events of recent months have been a cause for all of us to take stock of our spiritual life. The floods in Queensland and Victoria, Cyclone Yasi, the Christchurch earthquake, and just this past weekend the Japanese earthquake, subsequent tsunami and exploding nuclear power station are strong signals that time is short. The devastation of thousands of people’s homes and lives must touch all of us. Repairs to homes and infrastructure will take time. But nothing could be worse than the distressing loss of lives suffered in these terrible catastrophes. Our prayers are with all those who have lost their loved ones.

During the middle of Cyclone Yasi, I came across a Twitter feed dedicated to the event. One individual 'tweeted' that the Salvation Army had asked for everyone to pray to God for those about to face the fury of the cyclone. He went on to ask, "What kind of God would send the cyclone in the first place?"

This has been a dilemma that Christians have wrestled with for centuries. How can a loving God allow evil to take place, where thousands perish seemingly indiscriminately in such terrible catastrophes? The reality is that we do have a loving Father in heaven who is not willing that any should perish. That same loving Father has also allowed this world to suffer the consequences of their sin. Not because of any vindictiveness on His part, but because of a burning desire He has that we all may come to repentance. I recall the words of Christ in this regard:

Luke 13:1-5 (KJV) "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

It is not always because of any greater sins than the rest of their fellow humanity that people perish in such events. We know there is an enemy hard at work to destroy the lives of all in the hope that all will be lost eternally. We also know that that enemy's time is almost up. Jesus is coming again to finally bring an end to the terrible calamities and disasters our sin-sick world has suffered at Satan's hand. Let us not give up the faith in view of these terrible events, but rather let us all be found ready and waiting.